You are on page 1of 6

International Journal of Poultry Science 1 (1): 29-34, 2002

Asian Network for Scientific Information 2002

Azolla (Azolla pinnata) as a Feed Ingredient in Broiler Ration


1

Biplob Basak, 1 Md. Ahsan Habib Pramanik, 1 Muhammad Siddiqur Rahman,


2
Sharif Uddin Tarafdar and 1 Bimol Chandra Roy
1
Department of Poultry Science, 2 Department of Dairy Science,
Bangladesh Agricultural University, Mymensingh, Bangladesh

Abstract: An experiment was conducted with 120 seven days old Vencobb commercial broiler chicks and continued up to 42
days of age to determine the feasibility of Azolla (Azolla pinnata) as a feed ingredient in broiler ration. The broilers are randomly
allotted to four dietary treatments; T1 (control diet without Azolla meal), T2 (diet with 5% Azolla meal), T3 (diet with 10% Azolla
meal) and T4 (diet with 15% Azolla meal) diets replacing sesame meal by Azolla meal. The composition of Azolla meal contained
25.78% crude protein, 15.71% crude fibre, 3.47% ether extract, 15.76% ash and 30.08% nitrogen free extract on the air-dry
basis. Live weight, production number and protein efficiency were (P< 0.01) significantly improved at the level off 5% Azolla
meal in broiler ration. Feed conversion ratio and energy efficiency were significantly (P< 0.01) improved in diet with 5% Azolla
meal and control diet. Total cost Tk/kg broiler was significantly (P<0.05) better in the diet with 5% Azolla meal. Dressing
percentage was significantly (P<0.01) increased on diet with 5% Azolla meal. Giblet percentage on dietary treatment T4
significantly (P<0.05) increased than other treatments. It can be conducted that use of Azolla meal up to 5% in the broiler
ration found to improve performance and may be used in broiler diet as a safe level. Azolla meal had no deleterious effect on
the palatability of broiler diets.
Key words: Azolla meal, composition of Azolla, broiler, body weight, protein and energy efficiency and dressing percent

Introduction

when they supply part of the total protein or when they are
included as a source of pigment for egg and broiler skin.
With those considerations, the experiment was under taken with
the following objectives:
I) To investigate the performance of broilers fed Azolla at
different dietary levels.
ii) To compare the production cost of broilers provided with
diets containing different levels of Azolla in the broiler ration.

Now a days, poultry industry as one of the most profitable


business of agriculture in Bangladesh that provides nutritious
meats and eggs for human consumption within the shortest
possible time. Recently, broiler industry has become a rapidly
developing enterprise among the other sector of poultry
production. Large numbers of farms are being established in
different parts of the country, which create employment
opportunities to the peoples. But they are facing some problems.
The two major problems are higher price and non-availability of
feed ingredients to the growth of commercial poultry enter price.
The feed cost incurred about 60-65% of the total cost of poultry
production and cost incurred about 13% of the total feed cost of
the poultry production (Singh, 1990; Banerjee, 1992). Availability
of quality feed at a reasonable cost is a key to successful poultry
operation. To sustain in the competitive market already develop in
Bangladesh it would be wise to use unconventional feed to the
diet formulation to reduce the production cost for poultry.
In poultry industry, the production of broiler is very rapid in
Bangladesh due to its quick return. But the farmers are facing
difficulty with the availability and high price of the feed
ingredients. FAO program focuses on increasing the feed base
production systems to locally available feed resources in
developing countries (Sansoucy, 1993). Among the fed proteins
plant originates are less costly than animal protein. Limited works
have been done in our country on the use of unconventional feeds
in poultry diets and these are quite inadequate (Rahman and Reza,
1983; Hossain et al., 1989; Bul Bul and Islam, 1991) to mark
generalized conclusion.
The water fern Azolla (Azolla pinnata) is an unconventional feed
ingredient. Azolla is a free floating fresh water fern belonging to
the family Azollaceae and order Pteridophyta. There are six species
of Azolla. It is commonly found in tropics and sub-tropics. It
grows naturally in stagnant water of drains, canals, ponds, rivers,
haors-baors, marshy lands. Anabaena-azollae, living in the cavity
of Azolla leaf, can fix high amount of atmospheric dinitrogen due
to presence of symbolic algae in the leaves (Becking, 1979). Azolla
is a potential feed ingredient for broilers (Singh and Subudhi,
1978). Azolla is reach in protein, total protein is 25-30%. Other
constituents in Azolla are minerals, chlorophyll, carotinoids, amino
acids, vitamins etc. It is also a potential source of nitrogen and is
a potential feed ingredient for livestock (Lumpkin, 1984; Pannerker,
1988). In addition Boyd (1968) Subudhi and Singh (1977);
Maurice et al. (1984) started that inclusion of aquatic plants at low
levels in poultry diets had shown better performance, specially

Materials and Methods


The experiment was conducted at Bangladesh Agricultural
University (BAU) poultry farm, Mymensingh to study Azolla (Azolla
pinnata) as a feed ingredient in broiler ration. The experiment was
started with 7 days old Vencobb commercial broiler chicks and
continued up to 42 days of age.
Collection and preparation of Azolla meal: Azolla was collected
from a few ponds located at Bangladesh Agricultural University
Soil Science farm. It was then dried in the sun. After sun drying,
it was ground and stored in the plastic bags until used for feeding.
Layout of the experiment: Chicks were equally and randomly
divided and distributed in four dietary treatments groups (T1, T2,
T3 and T4) having three replications in each. Each dietary treatment
group consists of 30 chicks distributed in three replicated pens (R1,
R2 and R3) with 10 chicks in each. The layout of the experiment is
shown in Table 1.
Table 1: Layout of the experiment
Dietary
Number of birds
Total number of birds
treatments
per replication
-----------------------------R1
R2
R3
T1
10
10
10
30
T2
10
10
10
30
T3
10
10
10
30
T4
10
10
10
30
Grand total
120
Where, T1= Control diets without Azolla meal; T2 = Control diets
with 5% Azolla meal; T3 = Control diets with 10% Azolla meal; T4
= Control diets with 15% Azolla meal
Preparation of the experimental diets: Four-broiler starter and four
broiler finisher diets were replacing sesame meal by Azolla meal.
However, to adjust the nutrient level of the diets proportion of

29

Basak et al.: Azolla (Azolla pinnata) as a Feed Ingredient in Broiler Ration


Table 2: Composition of the starter diets (g/kg)
Ingredients

Maize
Rice polish
LNB 60%
Sesame meal
Soybean meal
Azolla meal
Common salt
Vit Min. Premix 2.5g
Calculated nutrient composition
ME Kcal/kg
CP%
CF%
Ca%
Av. P%
Lysine%
Methionine%
Tryptophan%
Cystine%

2915
22.11
3.47
1.15
0.52
1.14
0.49
0.24
0.35

Table 3: Composition of the finisher diets (g/kg)


Ingredients

Maize
Rice polish
LNB 60%
Sesame meal
Soybean meal
Azolla meal
Common salt
Vit. Min. Premix 2.5g
Calculated nutrient composition
ME Kcal/kg
CP%
CF%
Ca%
Av. P%
Lysine%
Methionine%
Tryptophan%
Cystine%

Treatments
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------T1
T2
T3
T4
520
500
490
490
150
145
140
110
90
90
90
90
95
70
35
0
140
140
140
155
0
50
100
150
5
5
5
5
+
+
+
+
2903
22.17
4.06
1.17
0.49
1.13
0.47
0.22
0.34

2906
21.91
4.65
1.17
0.45
1.12
0.43
0.20
0.32

2901
22.10
5.15
1.18
0.41
1.13
0.41
0.20
0.31

Treatments
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------T1
T2
T3
T4
580
570
570
560
175
165
145
130
90
90
90
90
55
40
10
0
95
80
80
65
0
50
100
150
5
5
5
5
+
+
+
+

3010
19.39
3.37
1.06
0.47
1.00
0.43
0.19
0.32

3002
19.20
3.93
1.09
0.45
0.97
0.41
0.18
0.30

soybean meal and rice polish was little changed. Nutrient levels of
the diets were adjusted in accordance with the BSTI (1988) feeding
standard. The composition of the experimental diets shown in
Table 2 and Table 3.

3003
19.04
4.46
1.10
0.41
0.95
0.38
0.16
0.28

2990
18.95
5.01
1.15
0.40
0.91
0.37
0.15
0.27

Table 4: Chemical composition of Azolla meal


Constituents
Percentage
Dry matter
90.8
Crude protein
25.78
Crude fibre
15.71
Ether extract
3.47
Nitrogen free extract
30.08
Total ash
15.76

Management: The experimental birds were managed properly


including housing environment, providing floor space, feeder and
waterer space, litter management, lighting management,
sanitation,
immunization
and
medication.
During
the
managemental period, body weight, feed consumption etc. are
recorded and dressing percentage also recorded.

meal are presented and discussed under the following subheading.


Chemical composition of the Azolla: Chemical composition of the
Azolla was analyzed and presented in the Table 4. The analysis was
carried out following the method of AOAC (1990) and Kjeldhal
method was used for crude protein estimation. The analysis was
done in the Department of the Poultry Science Laboratory,
Bangladesh Agricultural University, Mymensingh for proximate
composition.
The dry matter of Azolla was 90.8 percent. The result are almost
similar with earlier observation of Tamang & Samanta (1993), Ali
and Leeson (1995); Ghosh (1978).
The crude protein level of Azolla was found 25.78 percent. The
result was close to crude protein level found by the

Statistical analysis: All the recorded and calculated data were


analyzed for ANOVA (Steel and Terrie, 1980) using a Completely
Randomized Block Design (CRD) with the help of computer
packaged program MSTAT. Least Significant Differences (LSD) was
calculated to compare the variations between the treatments were
ANOVA showed significant differences. The dressing yield
parameters were converted to the percentage of their respective
body weights for statistical analysis.

Result and Discussion


The result on chemical composition and feeding effect to Azolla

30

Basak et al.: Azolla (Azolla pinnata) as a Feed Ingredient in Broiler Ration


Table 5: Weekly average body weight (g/bird) of the broilers at different dietary treatments
Age in week
Treatments
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------T1
T2
T3
T4
Initial week (1st week)
126.67
126.67
126.67
128.33
2nd week
240.00
236.67
226.67
225.00
3rd week
525.00
541.67
486.67
486.33
4th week
830.00
846.00
794.00
772.00
6th week
1199.00ab
1230.00a
1115.00bc
1073.33c
7th week
1579.00b
1637.00a
1462.00c
1394.33d
Table 6: Weekly average feed consumption (g/ bird) of the broilers at different dietary treatments
Age in week
Treatments
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------T1
T2
T3
T4
2nd week
335.00
343.33
343.33
341.67
3rd week
460.00
453.33
443.33
443.33
4th week
635.00
648.33
655.00
653.33
6th week
791.67
763.33
785.00
798.33
7th week
981.33
896.67
906.67
913.33
Table 7: Feed conversion ratio of broilers at different dietary treatments
Age in week
Treatments
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------T1
T2
T3
T4
2-4 week
2.04
2.02
2.20
2.24
5-6 week
2.30ab
2.10a
2.55bc
2.7c
2-6 week
2.17a
2.06a
2.38b
2.50b
Table 8: Protein efficiency of broilers at different dietary treatments
Age in week
Treatments
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------T1
T2
T3
T4
2-4 weeks
2.23
2.25
2.11
2.03
5-6weeks
2.26ab
2.48a
2.07bc
1.92c
2-6 weeks
2.18ab
2.47a
2.10b
1.98
Sreemannaryana et al. (1993) and is consistent with Subudhi and
Singh (1977); Fujiwara et al. (1947). Singh (1977) also reported
that the crude protein might vary from 25-37.36 percent.
Ether extract content of Azolla was 3.47 percent. Though the
composition may vary but similar result was reported by Subudhi
& Singh (1977) and Sreemannaryana et al. (1993). But variation in
ether extract value was reported by Ali and Lesson (1995) and
Querubin et al. (1986b). They found 1.58 and 2.63 percent of
ether extract. On the other hand, Buckingham et al. (1978) and
Fujiwara et al. (1947) reported 5.1 and 4.4 percent ether extract.
Crude fibre level in Azolla meal was 15.71 percent. The results are
similar with the earlier observation of Querubin et al. (1986b) for
Azolla pinnata. On the other species of Azolla (Azolla microphylla)
they found 15.02 percent crude fibre.
Nitrogen free extract (NFE) content of Azolla sample was 30.08
percent. The result is similar with the observation of Bhuyan et al.
(1998); Ali and Leeson (1995); Querubin et al. (1986b).
Ash content of Azolla was 15.76 percent. The results are
consistent with Buckingham et al. (1978) who reported 15.50
percent of ash in Azolla pinnata.

SED (LSD) and level


of significance
3.12NS
10.54NS
30.07NS
42.96NS
116.65**
76.86**

SED (LSD) and level


of significance
13.54NS
16.33NS
21.86NS
22.55NS
16.75NS

SED (LSD) and level


of significance
0.158NS
0.341*
0.258**

SED (LSD) and level


of significance
0.148NS
0.299*
0.285**

1994) but in Azolla meal it was 56.6 percent (Tamany et al., 1992).
So use of higher level of Azolla meal may had deleterious effect on
body weight as in T3 (140% Azolla meal) and T4 (15% Azolla meal).
While Cambel (1984) found better result using 10% and 15%
Azolla meal.
The higher level of Azolla (T3 and T 4) meal resulted poor growth
than T1 and T2 treatments. This might be due to higher level of
NDF in Azolla meal is the main limiting factor for efficient utilization
in monogastic animals (Buckingham et al., 1978). Tamany et al.
(1992) reported higher lignin i.e. 17.48% might cause poorer
growth as against the diet containing 10 and 15 percent Azolla
meal.
Feed consumption: Feed consumption was almost similar in
different dietary treatments and the differences were non
significant at all ages of the experimental period (Table 6). The
results are similar with the earlier observation of Bhuyan et al.
(1998) and Querubin et al. (1986a). They found that the inclusion
of Azolla in broiler diet did not affect feed consumption upto 15%.
Similar result also found by Castillo et al. (1981) and
Sreemannryana et al. (1993). But Bested and Morento (1985)
stated that Azolla affected the palatability of the feed and reduced
feed consumption.

Body weight: The body weights of broiler were shown in Table 5.


The body weight differed significantly at 5 and 6 weeks of age. In
both the weeks almost similar trend in body weight were
obtained. In this experiment, the diet containing of 5% level of
Azolla meal was best in respect of body weight (1637g) while
control diet was second the best (1579g) in 6 weeks of age. The
result is similar with the earlier observation of Subudhi and Singh
(1977).
In this experiment sesame meal was replaced by Azolla meal. The
digestible protein percent in sesame meal was 89.9 percent (NRC,

Feed Conversion Ratio (FCR): Feed conversion ratios obtained in


different treatments are shown in Table 7. Feed conversion ratios
obtained by the treatments by the T2 and T1 were respectively
2.06 and 2.17 during 2-6 weeks of age which were very close to
the standard (1.87:1) (Shalev and Pasternak, 2000). The feed
conversion ratios differ significantly among the treatment during
5-6 weeks and 2-6 weeks periods. Poorest feed conversion ratio

31

Basak et al.: Azolla (Azolla pinnata) as a Feed Ingredient in Broiler Ration


Table 9: Energy efficiency of broilers at different dietary treatments
Age in week
Treatments
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------T1
T2
T3
T4
2-4 weeks
16.89
17.16
15.94
15.43
5-6weeks
14.56ab
15.87a
13.14bc
12.15c
2-6 weeks
15.76a
16.52a
14.34b
13.79b
Table 10: Cost of production and profit/ broiler at different dietary treatments
Variables
Diets
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------D1
D2
D3
D4
Cost per chick (Tk./chick)
20.00
20.00
20.00
20.00
Miscellaneous cost (Tk./chick)
9.95
9.95
9.95
9.95
Cost per kg starter diet (Tk.)
12.61
12.31
12.00
11.80
Cost per kg finisher diet (Tk.)
12.26
11.92
11.64
11.32
Feed cost (Tk./ broiler)
39.00a
37.57b
36.99c
36.35d
Feed cost (Tk./ kg broiler)
26.91ab
24.89b
27.77a
28.72a
Total cost (Tk./broiler)
68.95a
67.52b
66.94c
66.30d
Total cost (Tk./kg broiler)
47.57bc
44.73c
50.24ab
52.39a
Sale (Tk./broiler)
94.41a
98.17a
86.80b
82.29b
Profit (Tk./broiler)
25.46ab
30.65a
19.86bc
15.99c
Profit (Tk./kg broiler)
17.43ab
20.27a
14.76bc
12.61c
Table 11: Meat yield traits of male and female broilers of different dietary treatments
Variable
Sex
Treatments
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------T1
T2
T3
T4
Mean
Dressing %
M
69.58
72.92
67.84
69.86
70.05
F
69.18
71.40
68.64
67.70
69.23
Maen
69.38b
72.16a
68.24b
68.78b
Abdominal fat %
M
1.42
1.28
1.39
1.39
1.37
F
1.53
1.51
1.28
1.59
1.48
Maen
1.48
1.40
1.33
1.49
Giblet %
M
5.12b
5.17b
6.46a
6.21a
5.77
F
5.98b
5.98b
5.55c
6.66a
6.04
Maen
5.55c
5.62bc
6.01b
6.44a
was obtained in treatment T4 (2.5) that was similar to the
treatment T3 (2.38). These might be due to higher fibre content of
Azolla.
Feed conversion ratios decreased significantly at 10 and 15%
Azolla meal in the diet. Similar results are reported by Querubin et
al. (1986a). Higher level of fibre and tannin in aquatic plant may be
responsible for decreased the nutrient utilization and ultimately
decreased FCR (Muzlar et al., 1978). Buckingham et al. (1978)
reported the high level of NDF in Azolla affected the utilization of
feed or feed efficiency in monogastic animals.

SED (LSD) and level


of significance
1.125NS
2.79**
1.98**

SED (LSD) and level


of significance
----0.802**
2.38*
0.802**
4.10*
10.66**
10.99**
4.10*

SED (LSD) and level of significance


T
4.36**

S
1.75NS

Tx S
0.758NS

0.435NS

0.416NS

0.089

0.971*

0.487NS

1.58**

treatments was highly significant during 5-6 and 2-6 weeks of age
(Table 9). At 5-6 weeks of age the energy efficiency was best at T2
group, which differ significantly than T3 and T4 but not from T1. At
2-6 weeks of age energy efficiency was best at both T2 and T1, and
poorer energy efficiency in T3 and T 4 treatment groups. The
protein efficiency and energy efficiency showed similar trend.
Survivability: No bird died in any treatment during the
experimental period. So, survivability was cent percent in all
dietary treatment groups. This indicates that Azolla meal had no
any deleterious effects on broilers. The results are similar with
Castillo et al. (1981) who also found no toxic effect of dietary
Azolla on broiler.

Protein efficiency: Protein efficiencies were calculated for different


treatments shown in Table 8. The best protein efficiency was
observed in treatment T2 at all periods. On the other hand, T2 had
2.48 and 2.37 during 5-6 weeks and 2-6 weeks, which differed
significantly than other treatments. T3 and T4 had poorer protein
efficiencies. These probably due to the low digestibility make Azolla
meal and may be unfit as the sole source of feed for broilers
(Buckingham et al., 1978).
As in dietary treatment T2 diet was formulated with minimum
(5%) level of Azolla meal and T1 (control) diet was formulated
without Azolla meal. Poorer digestibility and higher fibre content
in Azolla meal may be responsible for poorer protein efficiency in
T3 and T4. Khatun (1996) found lower digestibility in Azolla piata
at increasing level in the diet. Digestible protein level in Azolla is
56.6% (Tamany et al., 1992) where as digestible protein
percentage in sesame meal is 89.8% (NRC, 1994) and that is why
the control diet and diet containing 5% Azolla meal might have
shown better result.

Cost of production: Except feed cost, other cost was constant


and feed cost was only factor that differed the total production
cost of broiler. The total cost per broiler was highest in D1 (68.95
Tk/broiler) and gradually lower in D2 (Tk. 67.52), D3 (Tk. 66.94) and
D4 (Tk. 66.30) dietary treatments and the difference was
significant between treatments (Table 10). As the Azolla is an
unconventional feed and the price per kg was lower than sesame
meal and that is why the feed cost and total production cost per
broiler was highest in the D1 group and the cost gradually lower
in the other treatment groups for the same reason. But total cost
and feed cost per kg broiler were higher in D3 and D4 groups,
which differed significantly fro D1 and D2 dietary groups. The
body weight in Dietary treatments T3 and T4 were low (Table 5).
So, the total costs of production per kg broilers were increased
which reduced profit. Total cost per broiler was highest in D1 but
the profit per broiler highest in D2, which was statistically similar
with D1. The main cause of highest profit in broiler in D2 and D1

Energy efficiency: Energy efficiency of broiler at different dietary

32

Basak et al.: Azolla (Azolla pinnata) as a Feed Ingredient in Broiler Ration


groups were body weight of broilers. As the body weight were
higher in D2 and D1 increase the profit for the same.

treatments. The highest dressing percentage was observed for T2


treatment. Dressing yield among the treatments were 69.38,
72.16, 68.28 and 68.78 percent for T1, T2, T3 and T4 treatments
respectively. Dressing yield of male was slightly higher than female
but the difference was not significant. Abdominal fat in different
dietary treatments and in different sexes were more or less similar
and the difference were not significant. Giblet yield differed
significantly among the different dietary treatments. The highest
giblet yield was obtained in T4 and second highest in T3 where as
comparatively less for T1 and T2 groups.
From the above discussion it may be concluded that:
i)
Azolla is a good source of protein and may be used upto 5%
level in the broiler diet for better performance.
ii)
Azolla meal had no deleterious effect on palatability of the
diets.
iii) Azolla meal is an unconventional feed ingredients at low price
and may be used as a poultry feed to reduce feed cost.
However, further research using large number of birds with similar
objectives is needed before giving final recommendation to use
Azolla meal as a feed ingredient in broiler ration.

Meat yield characteristics: The effect of dietary treatments on the


dressing percentage, giblet percentage and abdominal fat
percentage of broilers are shown in Table 11.
Dressing percentage: Dressing percentage among the different
treatments differed significantly. T2 had had the best dressing
yield while the other treatments had almost similar dressing yield.
In T2, average dressing percentage was 72.16 (Mixed sex) where
as male and female birds were 72.92 and 71.40 respectively in the
same treatment0. Hayse and Marion (1973) obtained similar result
(72.04 and 70.08 percent eviscerated yield for male and female
broilers). As body weight was higher (Table 5) in T2 treatments,
so the dressing percentage also became higher than the other
dietary treatments.
Abdominal fat: Abdominal fat was not significantly affected by
dietary treatments and sexes (Table 11). However, females had
slightly more abdominal fat than males. The results are consistent
with Plavnik and Hurwitz (1983). Treatment and sex interaction on
abdominal fat was not significant.

REFERENCES:
Ali, M.A. and S. Leeson, 1995. The nutritive value of some
indigenous Asian poultry feed ingredients. Anim. Feed Sci.
and Tech., 55:227-237.
AOAC, 1990. Official method of Analysis, 13th edn. Association of
official analytical chemists, Washington DC.
Banerjee, G. C., 1992. Poultry, 3rd edn. Oxford and IBH pub. Co.
Pvt. Ltd. New Dilhi, Bombay, Calcata.
Becking, J. H., 1979. Environmental requirements of Azolla for the
use of tropical rice production. In: Nitrogen and Rice.
International Rice Research Institute. Los Banos. Leguna.
Phillipines, pp: 345-374.
Bested, S. B and. S. E. Morento, 1985. The effect of different
percentage of Azolla on fattening pigs. MSAC Journal
(Philippines), 17:31-40.
Bhuyan, M. A. H., M. R. Hasanat, M. A. Ali and M. A. Rahman,
1998. Effect of feeding Azolla (Azolla pinnata) on the
performance of broiler. Bangladesh J. Anim. Sci., 27(1 &
2):77-82.
Boyd, C. E., 1968. Fresh water plants; a potential source of
protein. Economic Botany, 22:359-365.
Broadbent, L. A., B. J. Wilson and C. Fisher, 1981. The
composition of broiler chicken at 56 days of age: out put,
components and chemical composition. Br. Poult. Sci.,
22:385-390.
BSTI., 1988. Bangladesh Standard and Testing Institute
(Specification for poultry feeds).
Buckingham, K.E., W. E. Stepher, G. M. James and R. G. Charles,
1978. nutritive value of nitrogen fixing aquatic fern Azolla
filiculoides. J. Agri. and Food chem., 26:1230-1234.
Bul Bul, S. M. and M. A. Islam, 1991. Feasibility of using
unconventional feed in the poultry diet and formulating of
economic ration with the inoculation of the unconventional
sources. A report of a research project, sponsored by
Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council (BARC). Department
of Poultry Science, B. A. U. Mymensingh.
Cambel, I. M., 1984. Growth performance of broilers fed with
varying levels of Azoll meal. Kabacan, North Cotabato
(Philippines), pp:66.
Castillo, L.S., A. L. Gerpacio and F. S. D. Paseual, 1981.
Exploratory studies on Azolla and fermented rice hulls in
broiler diets. College, Leguna (Philippines) pp:6.
Fujiwara, A., I. Tsuboi and F. Yoshida, 1947. Fixation of free
Nitrogen in non-leguminious plants. Azolla pinnata (In
Japaneses) Nogaku, 1:361-363.
Ghosh, G. D., 1978. Utilization of Azolla pinnata as an
unconventional source of feed in the ration of local bull
calves. M. Sc. A. H. (Thesis). Deptt. Of Animal Nutrition. B. A.
U. Mymensingh.

Giblet percentage: The mean giblet percentage was significantly


(Table 11). Among the treatments T4 had the highest (6.44) giblet
percentage. On the other hand T1 and T2 groups had significantly
lower giblet percentage. Though the sex did not differ
significantly, comparatively higher giblet percentage was obtained
for female broilers. The results are similar with Broadbent et al.
(1981) and Newell (1954), who also observed higher giblet yield in
females than males.
Conclusion: An experiment was conducted with 120 seven-days
old Vencobb commercial broiler chicks and continued upto 42 days
of age. Birds were reared on littered floor and with management
e.g. feeding, watering, vaccination, medication, etc. the diets were
prepared with Azolla meal at a level of 0, 5, 10, and 15% by
replacing sesame meal from control diet. Azolla was analyzed for
its proximate composition.
The average body weights at marketing (42 days) were 1579.00,
1637.00, 1462.00 and 1394g for T1, T2, T3 and T4 respectively.
The highest body weight was obtained in T2 followed by T1, which
differ significantly (P<0.01) from each other.
The feed consumption was similar for all treatments all over the
experimental period. Cumulative feed consumption for T1, T2, T3
and T4 3140, 3104.99, 3133.33 and 3149.99g respectively.
Feed conversion ratio (FCR) improved significantly for T2 and T1
which were 2.06 and 2.17 respectively during 2-6 weeks of age.
FCR for T3 and T4 were poorer i.e. 2.38 and 2.50. Survivability
was distinctly better for all of the treatment groups, which
indicate Azolla had no toxic effect.
Protein efficiency differed significantly among treatments. The
best protein efficiency was obtained in T2, which was similar to
control groups. At 2-6 weeks of age protein efficiencies were 2.18,
2.37, 2.10 and 1.98 for T1, T2, T3 and T4 treatments respectively.
Energy efficiency differed significantly among the treatments
during 2-6 weeks and in 5-6 weeks of age. T1 and T2 had better
protein efficiency than T3 and T4. Energy efficiencies were 15.76,
16.52, 14.34 and 13.79 for T1, T2, T3 and T4 treatments
respectively during 2-6 weeks of age.
Production cost differs among dietary treatments. This might be
due to feed cost as other costs were constant. Total cost per
broiler was minimum at D4 (Tk. 66.30) and gradually increased for
D3, D2, and D1 respectively. Profit per broiler was better for T2 and
T1 groups. Total feed cost per broiler was highest in D1 (Tk. 39.00)
and lowest in D4 (Tk. 36.35), which differed significantly. The main
factor responsible for better profit was body weight, which was
significantly higher for these treatments groups.
Dressing percentage differed significantly (P<0.01) among

33

Basak et al.: Azolla (Azolla pinnata) as a Feed Ingredient in Broiler Ration


Hayse, P. L. and M. M. Marion, 1973. Eviscerated yield component
parts an meat, skin and bone rations in the chicken broilers.
Poult. Sci., 52:718-722.
Hossain, M. D., S. M. Bul Bul and M. A. H. Howlider, 1989. The
composition of some unconventional feeds. Poultry Adviser,
22: 37-40.
Khatun, M. A., 1996. Utilization of Azolla (Azolla pinnata) in the
diet of laying hen. M. S. thesis, Deptt. Of Poultry Science, B.
A. U. Mymensingh.
Lumpkin, T. A., 1984. Assessing the potential for Azolla use in the
humid tropics. International Rice Commission news, 33:3033.
Maurice, D. V., J. E. Jones, C. R. Dillon and J. M. Weber, 1984.
Chemical composition of Nutritional value of Brazilian Elodea
(Egeria densa) for chick. Poult. Sci., 63: 317-323.
Muzlar, A. J., S. J. Slinger and J. H. Burton, 1978. chemical
composition of aquatic macrophysics III. Mineral composition
of fresh water macrophysics and their potential for mineral
nutrient removal from lake water. Canadian J. Plant Sci.,
58:851-862.
Newell, P.V., 1954. Percentage yield of parts of cut up broiler.
Poult. Sci., 33:1074.
NRC, 1994. composition of feed stuff used in Poultry diets. In:
Nutrient requirements of Poultry. National Academy Press.
Washington, DC. pp: 61-75.
Pannaerker, S., 1988. Azolla as a livestock and poultry feed.
Livestock Adviser, 13:22-26.
Plavnik, I., S. Hurwitz, 1983. Organ weights and body
composition in chickens as related to energy and amino acid
requirements. Effects strain, sex and age. Poult. Sci., 63:
152-163.
Querubin, L. J., P. F. Aloantara, E. S. Luis, and A. O. Princesa,
1986a. chemical composition and feeding value of Azolla in
broiler ration. Philippines J. Vet. and Anim. Sci.,12:65.

Querubin, L. J., P. F. Alcantara and A. O. Princesa, 1986b.


Chemical composition of three Azolla species (A. pinnata, A.
Caroliniana and A. microphylla) and feeding value of Azolla
meal (A. microphylla) in broiler ration. Philippines Agriculturist
(Philippines), 69:479-490.
Rahman, A., and M. A. Reza, 1983. Study on the effect of
unconventional sources of protein and energy for poultry.
M.Sc. thesis, Department of Animal Nutrition, Bangladesh
agricultural University, Mymensingh.
Sansoucy, R., 1993. The FAO program for better utilization of
local feed resources in developing countries. In proc. 7th
world conference Animal Production. Edmonton, Canada, pp:
77-80.
Shalev, B. A. and H. Pesternak, 2000. Genetic advances save feed
and reduce pollution. World Poult., 16 : 29.
Singh, P. K., 1977. Azolla plants as fertilizer and feed. Indian
Farming, 27:19.
Singh, P.K. and B. P. R. Subudhi, 1978. Utilization of Azolla in
poultry feed. Indian Farming, 27:37-39.
Singh, R. A., 1990. Poultry Production, 3rd edition. Kalyany
Publishers, New Delhi, Ludhiana.
Sreemannaryana, D., K. Ramachandraiah, K. M. Sudarshan, N. V.
Romanaiah and J. Ramaprasad, 1993. Utilization of Azolla as
a rabbit feed. Indian vet. J., 70: 285-286.
Steel, R. G. D. and J. H. Torrie, 1980. In: Principal and Procedure
of Statistics: A Biometrical Approach. McGraw Hill, New York.
Subudhi, B. P. R. and P. K. Singh, 1977. Nutritive Value of water
fern Azolla pinnata for chicks. Poult. Sci., 57: 378-380.
Tamang, Y. and G. Samanta, 1993. Feeding value of azolla (Azolla
pinnata ) an aquatic fern in Black Bengal goats. Indian J.
Anim. Sci., 63:188-191.
Tamany, Y., G. Samanta, N. Chakraborty and L. Mondal, 1992.
Nutritive value of Azolla (Azolla pinnata) and its potentiality
of feeding in goats. Environment and Ecology, 10:755-756.

34